The fifteen feet, the thickness of the wall, which they must have had to cut through in order to place the iron door in the middle, imbedded it in a long coving, so that when the door closed, it was as much on the side of the tower as on the side of the bridge, under a porch six or seven feet deep; when it was open the two porches formed one and made the entrance arch.
Under the porch on the side of the bridge, inside the wall, was a low gate with a St. Gilles's staircase, leading to the corridor on the first fioor, under the library; this was still another difliculty for the besieger. The chatelet on the bridge presented nothing but a perpendicular wall on the side next the table-land, and the bridge ended there. A draw-bridge, applied to a low door, put it in communication with the table-land, and this draw-bridge, never lowered except on an inclined plane, on account of the height, gave entrance to the long corridor, called the hall of the guards. Once master of this corridor, the besieger, in order to reach the iron door, was obliged to tear away the St. Giles's staircase leading to the second story.
The library was an oblong hall of the same width and length as the bridge, and having a single door, the iron door. A false swinging door, padded with green cloth, and opening with a push, screened the arched entrance to the tower on the inside. The wall of the library from top to bottom, and from floor to ceiling was covered with cabinets having glass doors, in the beautiful style of carpentry of the seventeenth century.
Six large windows, three on each side, one above each arch, lighted this library. From the top of the plateau outside, one could look through these windows and see the inside. Between the windows, on carved oak terminals, stood six marble busts: Hermolaüs, of Byzantium; Athenæus, the grammarian of Naukratos; Suidas; Casaubon; Clovis, king of France; and his chancellor Anachalus, who, by the way, was no more a chancellor than Clovis was a king.
There were books of every kind in this library. One has become famous. It was an old quarto with prints, bear-